It’s almost crunch time in the general election!

When the dust settles on July 5th, the new government will have an incredible opportunity to make safer, healthier and happier streets for all of us. But it’s a task that will require vision, investment and political grit. 

Here we have a brief look at what’s on offer in the different manifestos when it comes to transport. We also have some interviews and statements from candidates standing in Birmingham constituencies, so that you can judge for yourself if they’ve grasped the problems we face and have realistic plans for tackling them.

There are so many ways in which legislation could be improved and resources better allocated to achieve these goals. At BSfB we have chosen to endorse 5 key asks outlined by the Safe Streets Now coalition of community groups and national road safety / active travel organisations.

These are:

Let’s see how our parties and candidates get on!

Key points from the party manifestos

Labour
  • Fixing 1 million pot holes, funded by deferring the A27 bypass
  • Making car insurance renewal cheaper to ease financial burden on drivers
  • Phasing out of petrol and diesel cars (new sales) by 2030
  • Taking railway contracts back into public tender as they expire
  • A new Great British Railways system to deliver better connected rail travel
  • Strengthened passenger watchdogs for greater accountability of rail delivery
  • Encouraging greater use of rail freight
  • New powers for local bus franchising and lifting the ban on municipal ownership
  • No mention of a bus fare cap 
  • No mention of road pricing or any other similar new vehicle tax to account for reductions in fuel duty and road tax revenue from petrol / diesel phase out
  • Unspecified new powers for mayors “to promote active travel networks”
Conservatives
  • HS2 London to Bham completed to support growth of rail freight sector
  • 36 bn of spending on roads, rail and buses “saved” from scrapping northern legs 
  • This includes 8.3 billion pounds for potholes and road resurfacing; 1.75 billion pounds for a midlands rail hub and 1 billion pounds for new bus routes in the North and Midlands
  • Also pledge to create “Great British Railways” though with more emphasis on growing the role of the private sector in delivering rail services
  • A £2 bus fare cap
  • “Reforms to make better use of bus lanes”
  • A new “backing drivers” bill to scrap ULEZ expansion, stop any sort of road pricing, strengthen local powers to challenge LTNs and ban “blanket” 20mph zones (these do not exist – in Wales there is a default 20mph limit in residential areas, with some roads exempted)
  • Working with Active Travel England to deliver safer routes to schools, measures to protect cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users as long as “local support” exists
  • Giving local authorities powers to ban pavement parking 
  • A bill to bring sentences for causing death by dangerous cycling in line with those for causing death by dangerous driving
Liberal Democrats
  • Phasing out petrol / diesel cars by 2030, with more investment in charging points
  • More of the roads budget to be given to local authorities
  • Protecting drivers from insurance rises and petrol prices
  • A new public “Railway Agency” to “join up industry” + hold operators to account
  • Reviewing cancellation of HS2
  • Freezing rail fares and electrifying track
  • More powers for local bus franchising and integrated funds for local authorities to expand bus services and switch to zero emission
  • Support for rural bus services / on demand services
  • £2 bus fare cap
  • Half fares for under 18s on bus, train and tram
  • 1/3 off fares for young people 19-25 on these modes
  • A new nationwide active travel strategy to create walking / cycling networks
  • Super tax on private flights
  • A Chief Secretary of sustainability to be embedded in the treasury
Green Party
  • A moratorium on road building
  • 5 billion per year to accelerate transition to electric vehicles
  • No more petrol / diesel vehicles on the road after 2035
  • HGV use to be transferred to rail freight
  • 19 billion over 5 years to improve public transport, electrify rail, cycle / footways
  • Increase public subsidy of bus / rail to 10bn / year by end of parliament
  • Restoration of the fuel tax escalator, and phasing in of road pricing as electric vehicles become more common
  • Flexibility and funding for local authorities to run bus services according to whichever model best suits their different needs
  • £2.5 billion per year on new cycle infrastructure
  • Re-imagining streets in residential areas
  • Achieve the Active Travel England goal: 50% journeys walked or cycled by 2030
  • 20 mph default in residential areas
  • Higher taxes on aviation 
Reform UK
  • Stop the “war on motorists”
  • Ban ULEZ and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Scrap HS2 to save £25 billion
  • Improve road and rail links + new transport infrastructure in coastal regions, Wales, the North, Midlands
  • Nothing at all on active travel

Independent Candidates